Coming in 2018: Pre-Crisis Job Levels

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Employment levels in advanced economies will not recover to pre-crisis levels until 2018, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday, adding that emerging and developing economies are recovering much faster than the majority of advanced economies.

Unemployment remains stubbornly high and globally, the rate of unemployment is set to rise to 6 percent this year, according to the United Nations agency's annual report on global and employment issues.

The ILO report found that in 35 percent of the countries, employment rates had increased but had not yet reached pre-crisis levels. However, rates in almost half of advanced economies analyzed had continued to fall since the beginning of the crisis, the report found.

Under current growth estimates, employment levels in advanced economies are expected to recover to pre-crisis levels by 2014, but once the growth in the working-age population is taken into account, the employment rate will not recover until 2018, the ILO said.

"At the global level, the number of unemployed people will continue to increase unless policies change course. Global unemployment is expected to approach 208 million in 2015, compared with slightly over 200 million at the time of publication," said researchers at the ILO led by Elva López Mourelo.

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"In addition, many workers have become discouraged and are no longer actively looking for a job. Labor force participation rates decreased between 2007 and 2012 in more than half of the countries analyzed."

"These trends have fueled social tensions in advanced economies and some developing countries, notably in southern Europe, South Asia and the Arab region," added López Mourelo.